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A poster for the Hill Street documentary.
Wheeling in the Years

Film charting Ireland’s skateboarding scene set for Jameson Film Festival

Documentary follows the development of skateboarding in Ireland from a shop in Dublin’s north inner city to today’s modern skate parks.

AN INDEPENDENT Irish film documenting the development of a skateboarding culture in Ireland from the 1980s to today will have its world premier at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival later this month.

Hill Street, produced by Dublin-based Warrior Films, charts the development of Ireland’s skateboarding scene from Clive Rowen’s skate shop ‘Clive’s of Hill Street’ in Dublin’s inner city which had some primitive ramps out the back, to the dozens of skate parks Ireland has today.

Clive’s younger brother Peter, who as a child was featured on the famous cover of the U2 album Boy, also became fascinated with skateboarding and features in the documentary.

After opening his shop in the 80s, Clive Rowen moved on to a temporary skate park at Dun Laoaghaire’s Top Hat Ballroom where he held a demo featuring the famous skateboarder Tony Hawk.

The documentary features previously unreleased archive footage of Hawk’s visit to Dun Laoghaire, as well as pro skateboarder Tom Penny’s visit to a now-closed skate park on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay.

Hill Street producer Dave Leahy said the skate scene in Ireland today “contrasts massively from the time there was only one shop with a few ramps outside to the 35 or 35 skate parks we have today” which were largely developed during the Celtic Tiger years.

He said that although the sport remains a US-dominated industry, Irish kids can easily pick up a board today.

Here, skateboarders interviewed for the documentary talk about the difficulties they faced in pursing their interest – including trying to make it out of the area around Clive’s skate shop without being robbed:

(Video via hillstreetdoc)

Leahy told that he’s hoping to take the film on the festival route for the next few months, starting with its premier at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival on 19 February.

Here’s the trailer:

(Video via hillstreetdoc)

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